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UALR Ottenheimer Library

HIST 4390 Middle East

Harvard University Open Collections Program

"For nearly four centuries, Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums have developed extraordinary collections that reflect the scope and the breadth of the University's world-renowned academic programs. In 2002, Harvard began to open an online window on those resources through the Open Collections Program (OCP). OCP has created six subject-specific, web-accessible collections that can support teaching and learning around the world. Today, OCP collections account for over 2.3 million digitized pages, including more than 225,000 manuscript pages.

OCP's unique online collections do not duplicate individual collections of books or manuscripts. Instead, OCP offers new, virtual collections of thematically linked material selected from numerous Harvard repositories. Each collection is easily searchable on the web."

(Text quoted directly from the Open Collections Program website on 1/17/2012)

Islamic Heritage Project

Through the Islamic Heritage Project (IHP), Harvard University has cataloged, conserved, and digitized hundreds of Islamic manuscripts, maps, and published texts from Harvard’s renowned library and museum collections. These rare—and frequently unique—materials are now freely available to Internet users worldwide. IHP is made possible with the generous support of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.

For the IHP, Harvard’s Open Collections Program (OCP) has produced digital copies of over 280 manuscripts, 275 printed texts, and 50 maps, totaling over 156,000 pages. Users can search or browse online materials that date from the 10th to the 20th centuries CE and represent many

  • regions, including Saudi Arabia, North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and South, Southeast, and Central Asia;
  • languages, primarily Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish; also Urdu, Chagatai, Malay, Gujarati, Indic languages, and several Western languages; and
  • subjects, including religious texts and commentaries; Sufism; history, geography, law, and the sciences (astronomy, astrology, mathematics, medicine); poetry and literature; rhetoric, logic, and philosophy; calligraphy, dictionaries and grammar, as well as biographies and autobiographical works.

Searching Tips

  • Keyword searching can be done in five categories, including Keyword, Title, and Name/Creator.
  • Use the virtual keyboard to submit queries in Arabic script.
  • To search partial words, use an asterisk as wildcard at the beginning, middle, or end of your search term, whether entered in Roman or Arabic script.
  • You can use and, or, and not operators (multiple words without quotes will be searched as if they were combined with the ‘and’ operator).
  • Search for a phrase by enclosing it in double quotes, e.g. "Persian poetry"